When we walk along the Grand River rail trail in Brantford, we see the layers of the forest. I remember teaching an Environmental Studies unit to a Grade 2 class about Forests. I taught them about the five forest layers. They are:
1. Emergent: these trees are about 30 metres tall.
2. Canopy: some of these trees are flowering ones and may grow up to 20 metres tall.
3. Understorey: these are often ferns and palms which grow up to 10 metres tall.
4. Shrubs: these are young plants which are 5 metres tall.
5. Forest Floor: these are ferns and mosses.
The next time you go for a walk in the woods, look for these layers. Look for a forest that is not too dense so it is easier to pick out the layers. It is amazing how the plants in the lower layers survive given that they compete for sunshine and/or rain with the plants in the upper layers. It is amazing how the larger plants don't choke out the smaller ones. No gardener is present to plant the seeds or water the plants or prune the trees there. And yet it all gets done. Because God tends to his garden, every last layer.